New nurse self doubts

  1. Can anyone offer advice? I am in my 4th week of orientation as a new grad, just passed boards last week. I am feeling that no matter how hard I try I just can't seem to get all my patient care done without relying a lot on my preceptor, who is great and very smart and patient. however she has not given me any idea of how she thinks I am doing. I did well in past jobs and well in school, but wonder at times if I am in over my head. Any guidance/advice? I do love patient care but am challenged with the complexities of it and all that needs to be done in an 8 hour day with our bosses warning us about over time.
    I have to leave now and go fix supper but will check back for replies later. I appreciate everyone who answers this
    Ruth G/new nurse
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  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   Tweety
    Ruth, be kind to yourself. Believe me if you weren't doing a good job you would be told. Your preceptor is there for you to use in the manner of which you speak.

    It takes a long time to feel confident, organized and competent. Heck, I still have doubts today every now and then. I felt exactly as you do my first year, then switched specialties and had to feel that way for a whole other year.

    What you are experiencing is entirely normal. So hang in there. Ask your preceptor for feedback on how you can improve. You might be pleasantly surprised to find out that you indeed are doing a super job and are a great nurse!
  4. by   Celia M
    Do not worry, that's what preceptors are for. The real learning in nursing starts when you start working. At our hospital we have a new grad program that lasts for 6 weeks prior to the orientation starting which is 3 months long. Do ask your preceptor for feedback on how you are doing. It takes more than just your orientation to become comfortable, I still learn new things and I've been a nurse for 20 years. There's a great book out called from Novice to expert (sorry, don't know the author) that you might find helpful. Good luck and Congratulations
  5. by   jnette
    Ruth... don't be too hard on yourself. This takes MONTHS, sometimes a good YEAR to get into the "zone". The more you do it, the easier it will come to you. There is an overwhelming amount of work to do ... and not just patient care. Your mind is trying to take it all in and learn all this "new stuff", and it's just not realistic to expect yourself to feel "comfortable" or efficient in so short a time.

    And one more thing.. we ALL go through this "feeling overwhelmed" in the beginning, ( and even NOW at times!) so you are NOT alone. One day at a time. I'm sure you're doing far better than you think or give yourself credit for.

    It takes TIME to work out all the little priorities and routines... you'll get your own thing going, and when you do, you'll amaze yourself !

    Check back with us with a progress report in about 4 months-6 months... and give an update !

    You'll GET there... truly.
  6. by   zenman
    It takes a couple of years to really become knowledgeable in an area, unfortunately, by year three you burn out!
  7. by   RuthG
    Thanks to you all! I WILL keep trying and ask my preceptor for advice.
    Nurses overall are a special bunch I think!
    Randall - thanks for the laugh about the burn out. I suppose there is some truth in that as well.
  8. by   traumaRUs
    Just want to add my encouragement. We tell all our new nurses that it takes a year to feel comfortable in the ER! Please stay with it!
  9. by   Ortho_RN
    It will get easier... I've been out for 6months and there are days where I am on top of things and then there are days where I feel like I am chasing my tail all day... And the other nurses do the same thing...

    It does get easier....

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